New York News
NYC Schools chancellor regrets birth control joke
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A spokeswoman says New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie Black was making a joke when she suggested overcrowded schools could be solved with birth control.
Black made the controversial remark at a task force meeting on school overcrowding Thursday.
Upon hearing estimates that Lower Manhattan would need an additional 1,000 elementary seats by 2015, Black said birth control "would really help us."
It didn't take long for the Schools Chancellor's critics to pounce.
"We think this is outrageous, insulting, it's racist, we're not accepting an apology, it's no joke," NYC Councilman Charles Barron said.
From members of the city council to parents, there is outrage.
"That is so wrong, that should never even came out and about," said Kadijah Richburg, a parent.
Cathie Black's remarks at a meeting in Lower Manhattan about overcrowding touched a nerve.
The Department of Education says it was a joke, others aren't so sure.
Julie Menn is a member of Community Board One in Lower Manhattan.
She was at the meeting and says the remark offended several people in the room.
Natalie Ravitz, Communications Director of the NYC Department of Education released a statement saying, "Chancellor Black takes the issue of overcrowding very seriously, which is why she was engaged in a discussion with lower Manhattan parents on the subject. She regrets if she left a different impression by making an off-handed joke in the course of that conversation."
New York State Assem. Speaker Sheldon Silver released a statement saying, "I am glad that Chancellor Black came to the meeting and was able to hear first hand from parents. Jokes aside, I think she really heard the message that Lower Manhattan schools are in the midst of an overcrowding crisis and I am hopeful we can work together to find a solution."
Black is a former executive at Hearst Magazines and USA Today.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg angered some parents by selecting Black for the post since she had no public school or teaching experience.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
new york city, cathie black, new york news, jeff pegues
- AccuWeather: Record Warmth 13 min ago
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- iWitness Photos and Videos
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- 2 killed in motorcycle accident in Queens
- 4 arrested in deadly NJ mall carjacking
- Teen who was shot at Colorado school dies
- Biker killed in Bronx collision
- LI burglary foiled by man watching on webcam in China
- Long Island driver charged with DWI in hit and run
- Target offers discount, free credit monitoring after data breach
- Knicks lose to Grizzlies, 95-87
- Video: Holiday shoppers enjoying warm weather
- Photos: Fatal shooting at the Short Hills Mall
- AccuWeather: Record Warmth
13 min ago